Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart

  • 3/4 stick butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 3/4 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 2 eggs, plus 1 yolk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 oz dark chocolate, not more than 60% cacao
  • 1 stick butter, cut into small cubes, room temperature
  • Cocoa powder for dusting on the top

Special Equipment: A 9-inch springform pan*, the bottom wrapped with foil (in case of leaks)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, mix chocolate cookie crumbs with the melted and cooled butter. Spoon the crumb mixture into the springform pan, and pat the crumbs onto the bottom and about 1 1/2 inch up the sides. (Use a measuring cup or a glass to help press the crumbs on the sides and into the corners.) Bake the crust in the preheated oven for about 10-13 minutes, or until dark and slightly puffed. Cool the crust on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.

To make dark chocolate filling, first whisk together eggs, sugar, heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and set it aside. Next, melt chocolate and butter in a heavy pot over medium heat, stirring continuously. When the chocolate is smooth and glossy, remove it from the heat and let it cool for about five minutes. (If you add it directly to the eggs and cream, it could scramble the eggs.) Once the chocolate is cooled, whisk it into the egg mixture until smooth. Don't overdo the whisking, or you will incorporate a lot of air bubbles.

Pour the chocolate filling into the baked and cooled crust, and tap the pan once against the countertop to let any air bubbles come to the surface. Smooth out the top, then put the tart into the oven and bake for about 22-28 minutes; the range of baking time is large because if you take the tart out sooner, the center will be more pudding-like, while if you let it bake longer, the center will set more fully and the consistency of the tart will be uniform from edge to center (this is what I preferred). Fully cool the tart on a wire rack, then chill for an additional 3-4 hours. Sift cocoa powder over the top in a thin layer. Let the tart come to room temperature before slicing to get the best rich, creamy consistency. Tart can be kept chilled for 1 week.


Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart

  • 3/4 stick butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 3/4 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 2 eggs, plus 1 yolk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 oz dark chocolate, not more than 60% cacao
  • 1 stick butter, cut into small cubes, room temperature
  • Cocoa powder for dusting on the top

Special Equipment: A 9-inch springform pan

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, mix chocolate cookie crumbs with the melted and cooled butter. Spoon the crumb mixture into the springform pan, and pat the crumbs onto the bottom and about 1 1/2 inch up the sides.

Bake the crust in the preheated oven for about 10-13 minutes, or until dark and slightly puffed. Cool the crust on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.

To make dark chocolate filling, first whisk together eggs, sugar, heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and set it aside.

Next, melt chocolate and butter in a heavy pot over medium heat, stirring continuously. When the chocolate is smooth and glossy, remove it from the heat and let it cool for about five minutes.

Once the chocolate is cooled, whisk it into the egg mixture until smooth.

Pour the chocolate filling into the baked and cooled crust. Smooth out the top, then put the tart into the oven and bake for about 22-28 minutes.

Fully cool the tart on a wire rack, then chill for an additional 3-4 hours. Sift cocoa powder over the top in a thin layer.

Let the tart come to room temperature before slicing to get the best rich, creamy consistency.


Chocolate Caramel Tartlets

INGREDIENTS

For the dough:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 12 tbsp. (6 oz.) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • For the caramel layers:
  • 12 oz. soft caramel candies, unwrapped, divided*
  • 2½ tbsp. heavy cream, divided

For the chocolate filling:

  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

DIRECTIONS

To make the dough, combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a medium bowl; stir with a fork to blend. Add the cubes of butter to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal and small pieces of butter remain. Add in the egg yolk, vanilla and heavy cream, and stir with a fork until a dough comes together. Knead very briefly, handling as little as possible, until the dough has an even consistency. Form into a disc, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400° F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about ¼-inch thickness or slightly thinner. Cut out rounds large enough to fully line the mini tart pans (pans 4-inches diameter, at least 1 inch high), about 6 inches in diameter. Line the pans with the dough, pressing into the edges of the pans to fill the fluted portions. Trim away the excess dough. Line each crust with a small piece of foil and fill with baking beads (dry rice or beans will also work). Place the tart pans on a baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake about 18 minutes, until mostly set. Reduce the oven temperature to 375° F, remove the foil and baking beads. Return the tart shells to the oven and bake for 5 minutes more. Transfer the tart shells to a wire rack to cool completely (leave in the pans).

To make the bottom caramel layer, combine 9 ounces of the caramels with 2 tablespoons of the cream in a medium bowl. Microwave in 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the mixture is fully melted and smooth. (Alternatively this can be done in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.) Divide between the tart shells, pouring an even layer to cover the bottom of each shell. Transfer the pans to the refrigerator or freezer and let chill until the caramel layer is set, about 30 minutes.

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer in the microwave or a saucepan. Pour the hot cream and the corn syrup over the chopped chocolate and let stand about 2 minutes. Whisk together until a smooth ganache forms. Whisk in the butter until completely incorporated and the mixture is totally smooth. In another small bowl, combine the remaining 3 ounces of caramels and the remaining 1½ teaspoons of cream. Microwave in short intervals (it may only take one) until fully melted and smooth. Divide the chocolate mixture between the tartlet shells, pouring an even layer over the caramel. Immediately top each with three small dots of the caramel. Use a toothpick or skewer to marble in a heart pattern. Refrigerate until fully set, at least 2 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle with coarse sea salt, such as fleur de sel.


Sticky Toffee Apple Pie

Pie Crust

  • 1-1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold butter cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup of refrigerated Crisco® shortening

Apple Filling

  • Five medium to large Michigan Cortland, Ida Red Apples, peeled, thinly sliced, diced
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding Filling
  • 1/2 cup praline pecans
  • 1 stick of butter softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 T heavy cream
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 egg - beaten
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour

Crumb topping

  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick of butter softened

Homemade Caramel

  • 1- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
  • 1 Tablespoon real vanilla extract

Praline Pecans

  • 1 cup of chopped pecans
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T brown sugar

Pie Crust

Mix all above ingredients in Kitchenaid style mixer on medium speed swiftly until crust appears “pea-like.” Carefully sprinkle water in crust mix until it starts to become moistened and gathers together. Pat into a disc, wrap and refrigerate for at least one half hour. Roll out on to floured surface and make and crimp crust. Freeze until ready to use.

Apple Filling

Cook above ingredients in large pan on medium heat until cooked halfway. Stir in 3/4 cup homemade caramel (see directions below) until melted.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Filling

Mix above ingredients just until blended.

Crumb Topping

Mix all together all crumb topping ingredients by hand or a pastry blender until fine and crumbly.

Homemade Caramel

In heavy 3 quart saucepan, combine all ingredients, but vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, covering all parts of bottom of pan with wire whisk to avoid scorching. Stir until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, constantly stirring, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring until caramel reaches 244F on a candy thermometer or firm-ball stage. Pour in glass container. Cool to use.

Praline Pecans

Melt butter in small pan on medium –low heat until melted. Add pecans and sugar and stir ingredients until you start smelling the nuts roasting. Take off heat and cool. Crumble.

Directions for Assembling Sticky Toffee Pudding Apple Pie:

Spread sticky toffee pudding mixture on bottom of crust. Put apple mixture over pudding mixture. Sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for one hour or until knife easily slides into center of pie with no resistance. If pie becomes too brown before done, turn down oven to 350 degrees to finish baking and cover with foil completely. Top with a generous amount of homemade caramel and praline pecans.


Southern Comfort Caramel Apple Pie

Basic Pie Crust:

  • 2 CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
  • 1/2 TEASPOON SALT
  • 2 TABLESPOONS SUGAR
  • 2/3 CUP (11 TABLESPOONS) CHILLED UNSALTED BUTTER, CUT INTO SMALL PIECES
  • 4 TO 5 TABLESPOONS ICE WATER

Topping:

  • 1/2 CUP PECANS
  • 1/3 CUP SUGAR
  • 3 TABLESPOONS DARK BROWN SUGAR, PACKED
  • 1/2 TEASPOON GROUND CINNAMON
  • 1/4 TEASPOON SALT
  • 1/3 CUP ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
  • 1/3 CUP (5 1/3 TABLESPOONS) CHILLED UNSALTED BUTTER, CUT INTO SMALL PIECES

Filling:

  • 5 TO 6 MEDIUM-SIZE TART APPLES, SUCH AS BRAEBURN, CORTLAND OR WINESAP
  • 1/2 CUP (1 STICK) UNSALTED BUTTER
  • 3 TABLESPOONS GROUND CINNAMON
  • 1 CUP SUGAR
  • 3/4 CUP SOUTHERN COMFORT LIQUEUR
  • 1/2 CUP HEAVY CREAM

Garnishes (optional):

  • VANILLA OR CINNAMON ICE CREAM
  • WHIPPED CREAM
  • CARAMEL SAUCE

To Make the Crust: Using a food processor, pulse to combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add butter; pulse until the mixture looks crumbly. Add 4 tablespoons ice water, and pulse until the dough begins to form a ball. If it doesn’t, add the additional 1 tablespoon water, and pulse. Gently mold the dough into a disk,; wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Clean your food processor (you can just wipe it out) to make the topping.

To Make the Topping: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer, and toast them in the oven for about 7 minutes, until golden brown and aromatic. Coarsely chop the nuts.

In a food processor, process both sugars, the cinnamon, salt and flour for about 1 minute. Add butter; pulse 10 to 15 times, until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the pecans. Refrigerate the topping, covered, in a a medium bowl until ready to use.

Transfer the unwrapped pie dough to a lightly floured flat surface. Roll it into a 1/8-inch-thick circle large enough to cover the bottom and sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. (To keep the dough from sticking, gently pick it up every once in a while and rotate it in place, adding more flour underneath if necessary.)

Wrap the dough lightly over the rolling pin, and set it in the ungreased pie plate. Press it into place, and crimp the outside edges with your finger or a fork.

To Make the Filling: Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

When the butter starts to foam, add the apples and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle it on the apples, and reduce the heat under the skillet to medium-low. Simmer the apples for about 1 minute.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples from the skillet to a large baking sheet, and arrange them in a single layer. (If you heap them in a pile, the hot apples will steam and get soggy.)

Pour the Southern Comfort into the butter-sugar mixture in the skillet. Simmer the mixture over medium heat at least 5 minutes, until the alcohol burns off. Add the cream, and continue cooking about 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture is thick as pourable caramel. Return the apples to the skillet.

Pour the apple filling into the unbaked pie crust, and sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the topping is brown. Serve the pie warm or at room temperature with ice cream, whipped cream or caramel sauce.


Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart

PASTRY

  • 6 tablespoons blanched almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

FILLING

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of freshly ground white pepper
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree (10 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

GELÉE

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries (1/2 pound)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

In a food processor, pulse the almonds until coarsely ground. Add 1/2 cup of the flour and process to a fine powder; transfer to a bowl. In the food processor, pulse the butter and confectioners' sugar until creamy. Pulse in the egg and vanilla. Pulse in the remaining 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of flour, the almond flour and the salt until a soft dough forms. Pat the pastry into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 14-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Roll the pastry onto the rolling pin and unroll it over an 11 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the pastry into the rim. Fold in the overhanging dough and press to reinforce the side; the side should be twice as thick as the bottom. Trim off any excess pastry and refrigerate until firm.

Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the pastry for about 25 minutes, or until set. Remove the parchment and weights and bake for 10 minutes longer, until the crust is golden and cooked through. Let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, brown sugar, ground spices, nutmeg and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat at medium speed until smooth. Beat in the pumpkin puree until smooth. Beat in the cream, maple syrup, vanilla and eggs at low speed until blended.

Put the crust on a large, sturdy baking sheet and set it in the oven. Pour the pumpkin custard into the crust. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the custard is just set but still slightly jiggly in the center. Cover the edge with foil if the crust starts to brown too much. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.

In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries with 1/2 cup of water and cook over moderate heat until they begin to pop, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the puree through a fine sieve. Rinse out the saucepan.

Add the sugar and 1/4 cup of water to the saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring, until dissolved. Let cool. Stir in the orange juice and cranberry puree.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of water and let stand until softened, 5 minutes. Microwave for 10 seconds, or until completely melted. Whisk the gelatin into the cranberry mixture and pour the gelée over the pumpkin custard; shake it gently to even it out. Refrigerate the tart until set, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Remove the tart ring and serve.


Coconut Buttermilk Pie with Blackberry Caramel

CRUST

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

FILLING

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure coconut extract
  • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut

BLACKBERRY CARAMEL

  • 2 cups blackberries (8 ounces), halved
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed
  • 2 teaspoons blackberry liqueur
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Toasted sweetened shredded coconut, for garnish

MAKE THE CRUST In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size pieces remaining. Drizzle the buttermilk on top and pulse until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather up any crumbs and pat the dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 12-inch round, a scant 1/4 inch thick. Ease the dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Trim the overhanging dough to 1 inch, fold it under itself and crimp the dough decoratively. Refrigerate the crust until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust in the lower third of the oven for about 20 minutes, until barely set. Remove the parchment paper and pie weights. Cover the edge of the crust with strips of foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer, until the crust is lightly browned. Let cool on a rack. Leave the foil strips on the crust rim. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°.

MAKE THE FILLING In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale. Add the buttermilk, butter, coconut milk, flour, vanilla seeds and both extracts and whisk until smooth, then stir in the shredded coconut.

Set the pie plate on a baking sheet. Pour in the custard and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until set around the edge but slightly jiggly in the center. Transfer to a rack and let the pie cool completely.

MEANWHILE, MAKE THE BLACKBERRY CARAMEL In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of blackberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of water. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries start to burst. Transfer the berries and any juices to a blender and puree until nearly smooth. Transfer the puree to the saucepan and let cool slightly, then whisk in the cream, blackberry liqueur, vanilla and salt.

In a medium saucepan,combine the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar with 1/4 cup of water. Cook over moderate heat, swirling the pan and brushing down the side with a wet pastry brush, until the sugar dissolves. Cook undisturbed until an amber caramel forms, about 7 minutes. Add the blackberry cream (be careful, it may boil vigorously) and simmer, whisking, until the caramel is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then stir in the remaining 1 cup of blackberries; let cool to room temperature. Garnish the pie with toasted coconut, cut into wedges and serve with the blackberry caramel.

MAKE AHEAD The coconut-buttermilk pie can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; serve chilled or at room temperature. The blackberry caramel can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.


Blums’ Coffee Toffee Pie

PASTRY SHELL

  • ½ pkg pie crust mix
  • 1 T water
  • ¼ cup Lt brown sugar, firm
  • 1 t vanilla
  • ¾ C Fine chopped walnuts
  • 1 square unsweetened chocolate grated

FILLING

  • ½ C soft butter or margarine
  • ¾ C granulated sugar
  • 2 t instant coffee
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 square unsweetened chocolate -- melted/cooled

TOPPING

(use ½ recipe)

  • 2 C heavy cream
  • 2 T instant coffee
  • ½ C powdered sugar
  • Chocolate curls

METHOD

Preheat oven to 375 degrees f.

Make pastry shell

In medium bowl combine 1st 4 ingredients. Add water and vanilla.

Using fork, mix until well blended

Turn into well greased 9” pie plate -- Press firmly against bottom and sides of pie plate.

Bake 15 min. Cool shell in pie plate on wire rack

---Meanwhile, make filling---

In small bowl w/ electric mixer at medium speed beat butter til creamy.

Gradually add granulated sugar, beating til light.

Blend in cool melted chocolate and 2t instant coffee

Add egg; Beat 5 minutes; Add remaining egg, beat 5 minutes longer.

Turn filling into baked pie shell.

Refrigerate the pie, covered, over night.

NEXT DAY

Make topping

In large bowl combine cream with 2T instant coffee and powdered sugar

Refrigerate mixture covered 1 hour

Beat cream until stiff

Decorate pie with topping

Using Pastry bag with # 6 decorating tip if desired

Garnish with chocolate curls.

Refrigerate the pie at least 2 hours


Spiked Caramel Pumpkin Pie

  • 1 (9-inch) partially baked pie crust*
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • ¾ cup heavy cream, warmed
  • 1 tbsp. dark rum (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. ground ginger
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. In a medium saucepan, spread ½ cup of the sugar out in an even layer over medium-high heat. Once the sugar begins to melt and change color, gently mix together so that the sugar is evenly melted. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has turned a deep amber color (keep a careful eye on it to be sure it doesn’t burn). Once it has reached the desired color, remove the pan from the heat. Add in the cream in a slow steady stream down the inside edge of the saucepan, stirring or whisking constantly to incorporate evenly. (If any lumps remain, return the pan to the burner over medium heat and cook just until melted.) Continue mixing in the cream in this manner until it has been completely incorporated. Stir in the butter and the rum and mix just until smooth. Set aside the caramel and let cool for at least 15 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, remaining ½ cup of sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla. Whisk to blend. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Blend in the caramel. Pour the filling into the partially baked crust.

Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until the center is just set and the edges are puffed. Transfer to a wire rack to let cool at least 30 minutes. Serve with freshly whipped cream and caramel sauce as desired.

*To blind-bake a pie crust, preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Roll pie dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch disc. Place it in a 9-inch pie plate, trimming away the excess and creating decorative edges as desired. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with the tines of a fork. Line the crust with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with baking beads. (If you don’t have baking beads, dried beans or rice also work.) Bake 25 minutes. Remove the baking beads and foil and bake about 5-10 minutes more, until light golden. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.


Pie Crust

Pie Dough

for a double crust:

  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 lb butter, frozen
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp ice water

Using a food processor, add flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse to mix.

Chop up frozen butter and add. Pulse until butter is incorporated and mixture looks grainy.

Slowly add ice water. Pulse until mixed.

Turn out onto counter. Press and form mixture into 2 disks . Wrap in plastic and refrigerate about an hour to allow the flour to properly absorb the water and to relax the gluten.

Roll out crust and place in pie plate. Crimp edges and fill.


Pumpkin Ricotta Pie

Oh boy!  I think I have just created my newest most favorite pumpkin pie!  It came about because we have a lot of pumpkin in the freezer and I had a container of ricotta I had picked up last week with a vague idea of making something - and never did.

We have a no-regrets rule at home.  If it is purchased, it is consumed.  I just hate wasting food.  So knowing that ricotta probably wasn't going to be used for something savory any time soon, I decided to go sweet.  We have cut back on the desserts - and sugar in general - dramatically, but fall has come and pumpkin in one form or another calls my name daily.

I decided to give this one a go.  I knew instinctively that it would work, but it worked so much better than I anticipated.  it was a great surprise.

I know this will be gracing our Thanksgiving dessert table.

Pumpkin Ricotta Pie

Pie crust for single-crust pie

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (1 15-16oz can)
  • 1 16oz container ricotta
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • pinch salt

Preheat oven to 425°.  Mix pumpkin and ricotta. Add sugar, then eggs, maple syrup, and spices.

Pour into pie shell. Bake at 425° . for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°  and bake for 45  minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

This is definitely a keeper.


Pumpkin Pie

I came home today to find a beautiful Pumpkin Pie sitting on the island in the kitchen.  A fresh pumpkin pie - made with the pumpkin puree I made a few days ago and a home-made crust.

Absolute perfection!

The crust perfectly tender and flaky.  The filling - rich, creamy, and full of pumpkin flavor.  It is taking all of my willpower to keep from heading back into the kitchen to get another huge piece.

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

The Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 stick butter, frozen
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp ice water

Using a food processor, add flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse to mix.

Chop up frozen butter and add. Pulse until butter is incorporated and mixture looks grainy.

Slowly add ice water and pulse until mixed.

Turn out onto counter. Press and form mixture into disk . Wrap in plastic and refrigerate about an hour to allow the flour to properly absorb the water and to relax the gluten.

Roll out crust and place in pie plate. Crimp edges and fill.

The Filling:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 425°. Beat eggs, sugar, maple syrup, and spices in large bowl. Add pumpkin amd mix well. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into pie shell. Bake at 425° F. for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F.; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

It was just too good for words.  And there's more for tomorrow!